Another hot, hot afternoon in India. I don’t like hot afternoons. I like the rain, and anything to do with it. I feel myself when it rains. It’s a rare feeling, you know, feeling myself in public. We go around our social circles in different masks to suit the ones we interact with. If only we could believe that we would be most appreciated in our true faces…
Coming to that, how many people do actually have a true face? Well, that’s another story.
Talking about stories,…
Dum The clouds look nice.
Dee Yeah. Especially the white ones.
Dum All of them are white, Dee.
Dee I didn’t state otherwise.
Dum You are weird sometimes.
Dee At least I’m weird sometimes. You are never weird.
Dum You reversed my point. I meant you’re weird sometimes and that’s bad.
Dee Yeah, I know. And I said that you are never weird and that’s the worst that can be.
Dum We are sounding like something from Lewis Carroll.
Dee You never know, we could be.
Dum Could be what?
Dee Could be something from Lewis Carroll. Who knows?
Dum What do you mean?
Dee I mean we could be characters in a book, couldn’t we? Like, right now, you and me, we could be characters in a story or something. It’s possible.
Dum Stop talking trash. Characters don’t have lives of their own.
Dee There. That’s where you err, Dum. Just because you have a life of your own and can read about them in a book doesn’t mean they can’t have lives of their own.
Dum Prove it.
Dee Prove it? That’s funny. Here’s a character in a story demanding proof of his own living.
Dum I am not a character in a story. I am a whole, complete, individual living system.
Dee Uh-huh. That’s only what you think. Whereas, those who are reading your story knows what you truly are: a self-centered, conceited old character. Nothing more, nothing less, and absolutely nothing otherwise.
Dum I’m gonna kick your theories up your behind if you don’t shut your mouth this instant.
Dee Ha-ha. I scared you.
Dum Not really. It’s just a disgusting theory, that’s it. But wait, it means you are a character in a story too. Ha! Got you there. Na na-na na-na.
Dee I don’t mind being a character in a story, you see. They’ve got interesting lives, and they always have an audience.
Dum Not always. People may not read them.
Dee If there were no one to read them, they wouldn’t exist.
Dum We do, don’t we? And no one’s reading us. How about that?
Dee Well, it’s just that we can’t see whoever is reading us, because we are confined in the story.
Dum You’re scaring me.
Dee Oh, tsch-tsch. Now look at it this way. Does it make any difference at all? Does being a thing in a story or a dream or a thought or a movie make any difference? We still have got our own lives, right? Complete, individual living systems? On the other hand, notice the advantage we have got over our readers. We can go about our lives in any damn way we want to, and they have got no choice but to read it as a story. We have such powers, Dum.
Dum Thanks. I’ll suggest one thing though.
Dum You cook up your own theories, I don’t mind, but don’t come telling them to me. It gives me the heeby-jeebies.
Dee Oh sure.